Lay of the Land
Located on the western bank of the Yamuna River, Old Delhi, with its narrow alleyways and must-see sites such as the Red Fort mosque and Gandhi's tomb, is more of an enclave within the much larger capital city of New Delhi. Together, old and new occupy 573 square miles within the Indian province of Delhi. The two main thoroughfares of the well-planned New Delhi are Rajpath, which runs from the National Stadium, past India's Gate, to the government center on Raisinia hill, and Janpath, which branches out from the city's downtown shopping center at Connaught Place.
WHEN TO GO
Visit in November through February (when the average high is around the mid 80s) to avoid Delhi's baking summer, which can reach highs of 94° F. However, be aware that in December and January, especially, the airport sometimes becomes fogbound, causing delayed flights and chaos in the terminals. Allow for it by building an extra day into your schedule.
HOW TO GET THERE
International flights land at Indira Gandhi International Airport (www.delhiairport.com), around 40 minutes southwest of the city center. The preferred way of getting into the city is via a transfer arranged by your hotel. At least one hotel, The Manor, offers it on a complimentary basis (for rack rates only), as does the Oberoi for guests in its premier rooms and suites. Otherwise, book a prepaid taxi at the kiosk in the arrivals hall, where a cab downtown will cost $9 to $14.
For sightseeing, have your hotel arrange a car and driver for a half or full day. Alternatively, if you hire a taxi, establish the price up front. For short distances, auto rickshaws can be an adventure, but, because of the pandemonium that prevails on the roads, it's a risky one. Never, unless you are convinced that there is an afterlife, and that you will be happy in it, rent a car and attempt to drive it yourself.
The Government of India Tourist Office
88 Janpath (just south of Connaught Place)
Tel: 91 11 332 0005
Closed Sundays. Open Saturdays until 2 p.m.